Preview: Factor iPad magazine Issue 1 – World Cup Edition

With the first issue of Factor’s digital magazine set for release next month, here’s what you can expect from our inaugural edition.

With the upcoming FIFA World Cup being held in Brazil, we will be looking at sport’s relationship with technology, science and innovation.

The issue will be released as a fully interactive iPad magazine with easily digestible features, the highest quality images and video produced by the Factor team.

Inside you’ll be able to submerge yourself in how data is transforming the way sports teams train, approach matches and major tournaments. This will include a look at the latest technologies that are allowing athletes to analyse their every move in a bid to improve their performance.

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The first kick of the World Cup is set to be made by a paralyzed teenager who will walk onto the field using a high-tech exoskeleton. We explore how bionic technology is rapidly developing and giving new possibilities to those who have suffered large traumatic incidents.

Away from the summer of sport we speak to Outernet, the US company that want to provide free internet for the world, as they take on rival projects from Google, Facebook and the other internet giants.

You can find out how to turn your home into a smart house, discover if police in the UK are misusing databases and discover how robots are are being introduced into our lives.

We also explore the history of 3D printing and a take a retrospective look at concepts from the past and see if they managed to live up to their designer’s ambitions.


“Our readers want to know how their life is going to be in 10, 20 years”


Continuing the overarching sporting theme of the issue, we speak to drone operators who are using devices to capture a new angle on the biggest sporting events and there’s also a visual look at the indisputable referee that is Hawk-Eye.

We ask how far we can push the boundaries of the human body as technology and medical science is taking sportsmen and women beyond tradition human capabilities, and round up the latest news and reviews from the world of innovation, design and research.

Factor’s editor Lucy Ingham said: “Our readers want to know how their life is going to be in 10, 20 years, and what technologies are going to change the way they live. We focus on emerging technologies and consider the potential impact they will have.”

Issue #1 of Factor for the iPad will be out in the first weeks of June and then every month after. To keep up to date with the latest developments follow Factor on Twitter and ‘Like’ our page on Facebook.


China uses facial recognition to monitor ethnic minorities

China has been criticised for adding facial recognition to an already obtrusive surveillance system in Xinjiang, a Muslim-dominated region in the country's far west. The "alert project" matches faces from surveillance camera footage to a watchlist of suspects, and supposedly is designed to thwart terrorist attacks.

Source: Engadget

Microsoft execs say the ultimate form of AI is a digital assistant

In an interview with Business Insider, Microsoft president Brad Smith and EVP of AI and research Harry Shum have said the ultimate manifestation of AI in 20 years will be in a digital assistant that will serve as an "alter ego." The two argue that we need to set ground rules for our AI assitants while we still can.

Facebook’s head of AI isn't impressed by Sophia the robot

Facebook's head of AI, Yann LeCun, isn't happy with Sophia the robot. Following a Business Insider interview with Sophia, LeCun took to Twitter to call the whole thing “complete bullsh*t”. He went on to say Sophia masquerading as a semi-sentient entity was "to AI as prestidigitation is to real magic”.

Source: The Verge

Drone saves the lives of two swimmers

Two teenage boys were rescued by a brand new lifesaving drone in Australia, while lifeguards were still training to use the device. When a member of the public spotted them struggling in heavy surf about 700m (2,300ft) offshore the drone was sent out and dropped an inflatable rescue pod, which allowed the pair to make their way safely to shore.

Source: BBC

Google defends the right to not let people be forgotten online

Google is going to court to defend it's right to not abide by "the right to be forgotten", which it says “represent[s] a serious assault on the public’s right to access lawful information. Two anonymous people want the search engine to take down links to information about their old convictions because search engine results attract “adverse attention”.

Source: Bloomberg

UK Police delivering daily briefings via Amazon Echo

Lancashire police have begun streaming daily briefings straight to peoples' homes through Amazon Echo. Users will get hourly updates as well as pictures of wanted and missing people sent directly to their devices. "Alexa works alongside traditional policing methods to inform the public about the important issues in their neighbourhoods," said PC Rob Flanagan.

Source: BBC

A quarter of ethical hackers don’t report cybersecurity concerns because it’s not clear who they should be reporting them to

Almost a quarter of hackers have not reported a vulnerability that they found because the company didn’t have a channel to disclose it, according to a survey of the ethical hacking community.

With 1,698 respondents, the 2018 Hacker Report, conducted by the cybersecurity platform HackerOne, is the largest documented survey ever conducted of the ethical hacking community.

In the survey, HackerOne reports that nearly 1 in 4 hackers have not reported a vulnerability because the company in question lacks a vulnerability disclosure policy (VDP) or a formal method for receiving vulnerability submissions from the outside world.

Without a VDP, ethical, white-hat hackers are forced to go through other channels like social media or emailing personnel in the company, but, as the survey states, they are “frequently ignored or misunderstood”.

Despite some companies lacking a VDP, the hackers surveyed in the report did say that companies are becoming more open to receiving information about vulnerabilities than they were in the past.

Of the 1,698 respondents, 72% noted that companies have become more open to receiving vulnerability reports in the past year,

That figure includes 34% of hackers who believe companies have become far more open.

Unlike a bug bounty program, a VDP does not offer hackers financial incentives for their findings, but they are still incredibly effective.

Organisations like the US Department of Defence have received and resolved nearly 3,000 security vulnerabilities in the last 18 months from their VDP alone.

India (23%) and the United States (20%) are the top two countries represented by the HackerOne hacker community, followed by Russia (6%), Pakistan (4%) and the United Kingdom (4%).

The report revealed that because bug bounties usually have no geographical boundaries the payments involved can be life changing for some hackers.

The top hackers based in India earn 16 times the median salary of a software engineer. And on average, top earning hackers make 2.7 times the median salary of a software engineer in their home country.

In terms of which demographics are attracted to a life of ethical hacking, the report found that over 90% of hackers are under the age of 35, and unsurprisingly the vast majority of hackers on the HackerOne platform are male.